Denmark sends first group of refugees back to Germany

Migrants, mainly from Syria, walk on a highway near Rodby, Denmark on September 7, 2015 toward Sweden, where they hope to seek asylum (AFP Photo/Bax Lindardt)

Copenhagen (AFP) - Denmark has sent back a first group of refugees who arrived from Germany, Danish police said Tuesday, with others expected to follow.

"These are people who do not want to seek asylum (in Denmark) and are therefore here illegally. They have been deported and barred from re-entering the country for two years," police in southern Denmark said in a statement.

"This first group was a score of people. More will follow after their cases are processed," the statement said, adding that they were sent back by bus.

More than 800 refugees have arrived in Denmark since Sunday, according to Danish officials.

Very few of those have applied for asylum, the Danish immigration service said.

Most of those who arrive in Denmark are passing through en route to Sweden, which is known for its more generous asylum policies.

While Sweden has become a top EU destination for refugees by issuing permanent residency to all Syrian asylum seekers, Denmark has sought to reduce the influx by issuing temporary residence permits, delaying family reunifications and slashing benefits for newly arrived immigrants.

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